Do Stamps Expire? | Everything You Need To Know (Tips Inside!)
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Do you have some old stamps sitting around that you never used? Perhaps they got lost in your desk and never made their way onto an envelope to mail a letter. Do they have an expiration date or will the postal service still accept them today? You will be excited to know that stamps do not expire and you should be able to use them to mail your letter today! Of course, you need to make sure that they are worth enough to cover the postage that will be due. Keep reading as we explain everything you need to know when it comes to stamps expiring and making sure that you place enough postage onto your letters.
Do Postage Stamps Expire?
No, postage stamps never expire! As long as they are in good condition and will still stick to your envelope or package without taping them, then you can still use those old stamps! The USPS will accept them whether they were purchased yesterday or twenty years ago! Of course, if you purchased regular first-class stamps years ago, then you will have to add some additional postage on that letter. There have been many postage rate increases since then, so they will no longer cover the postage of a 1-ounce letter. The stamp value or denomination of the stamp should be printed on the stamp itself somewhere. This will tell you how much the stamp is worth and let you know how much additional postage you will need to add.
If you have any questions about your old stamps, then you can always visit your local post office. In addition to answering your questions, they can also sell you some stamps that will cover the additional postage. They likely have different types of stamps that are worth anywhere from a penny to twenty cent stamps, so they will be able to sell you what you need to cover the current postage rates. Of course, if your old stamps are Forever stamps, then you do not have to worry about any additional postage regardless of future price increases. We will discuss those in the next section.
Current Price And Value Of Forever Stamps
If the stamps that you are using are Forever stamps, then there is no need to worry about any additional postage. Many people wonder, “Do Forever stamps expire?” The answer is no. Forever stamps will always cover the cost of sending a letter through the first-class mail even if postage has increased. The value of a Forever stamp is always the current postage rate for a first-class letter. So, in 2021, a Forever stamp costs $0.55 and is worth $0.55.
Suppose that you buy a book of Forever stamps today for $11, or $0.55 each. Now imagine that postage increases to $0.60 per letter next year. You can still use those stamps to mail a letter next year, even though you only paid $0.55 each for them. They have increased in value by 5 cents each due to the postage increase. Each time the postage pricing increases, those stamps increase in value by the same amount. Now imagine that postage has increased to $5 per letter many years from now. You would still be able to use those Forever stamps that you bought today to mail that letter! This demonstrates how Forever stamps never expire and how they are always worth the current first-class postage rate of a one ounce letter. If your letter weighs more than this, you might still need to add an additional ounce stamp or two on there.
Tips For Using Old Stamps
Even though stamps never expire, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before attempting to stick that old stamp on your letter. First, make sure that the stamp is in good condition. The United States Postal Service will reject your stamp if it is damaged, torn, or in such bad condition that it is illegible. The stamp also must be able to stick to the letter on its own. If you have to tape it or glue it, then the post office will reject it as well. Similarly, if your old stamp has already been postmarked by the postal service, then that means that it was already used in the past. You will not be able to use the stamp again.
Can You Reuse A Stamp?
No, stamps cannot be reused. This is one reason why you should not attach additional stamps to your letter unless you are certain that they are needed. Once they have been marked by the post office, they cannot be used again. Even if there are no marks on the stamps, they cannot be reattached to another letter. You must use new stamps each time you place something into the mail. At the current postage prices, using postal stamps unnecessarily on a mail piece can add up quickly.
Affixing anything to a stamp like tape or glue will cause the U.S. Postal Service to reject that stamp, and you will lose the value of the stamp since it cannot be used. This is why you should always take care of the stamps that you purchase as well. USPS Forever stamps always have a value that is worth the current stamp rate. This means that they can be used to cover the mail postage for a one ounce letter at any point in the future regardless of the monetary value that you paid for the stamp. The face value of the Forever stamp is always the current postal rate, but they can only be used once.
The Bottom Line
When you buy stamps, you can rest assured that those stamps can be used at any point in the future. Those stamps will never expire, and you can stick them onto a letter for first-class postage or even to cover Priority mail postage as long as you don’t have to use tape. Regardless of where you bought your stamps – whether you got them at the post office, Amazon, or Stamps.com, they will not expire. The main thing that you need to be sure of is that you are affixing enough postage to your letter. If using Forever stamps, then you should be covered. But older first-class stamps might need some additional postage to get your letter where it needs to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my stamps are still good?
So, how do stamps work? As long as your stamps are still in good condition and can be affixed without the use of tape or glue, then they are still good. Stamps do not have an expiration date, so they can be used at any point in the future. Just make sure that they are still legible and the corners and outlines are all still there.
How long is a stamp valid for?
Stamps are valid for an indefinite period of time. They never expire! In fact, if you have an old stamp collection with stamps that are 100 years old, you could technically still use them for postage. Now, most people are not going to stick a collectible stamp on a letter, but you could if you wanted to. As long as the stamp is in good condition and still legible, then it is still valid to be used for postage.
What happens if a stamp expires?
Stamps never expire, so there is no need to worry about this. If you have a stamp that becomes damaged or will not stick on its own, then it cannot be used. That stamp is no longer valid, and you will need to purchase a new stamp to send your mail piece. You can buy them at your local post office or order online and get your stamps by mail.
How much does a postcard stamp cost?
In 2021, a regular postcard stamp costs $0.36. This reflects the pricing for a standard sized, rectangular postcard. If the postcard that you need to send is oversized or a different shape, then you might need additional postage to send it. Maybe you’re also wondering how much a book of stamps costs. A book of stamps for regular sized letters costs $11. Maybe you’re wondering, “Where can I buy a stamp?” You can get them anywhere from the post office to the grocery store.